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Quote of the Day: John Locke


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When I went to IIT, I was from a poor family and on a scholarship and teaching assistantship to grad school.  I had no connections to good jobs, etc.  I graduated and, in a strong 1975-76 recession, got my first serious chemistry job in 1977 for $16,000/yr (about $68,000 now) which was a good salary for a starting, grad-degreed, research chemist.

An IIT chemistry undergrad named Nancy graduated with a bachelor's degree the same year, 1975.  Her dad had connections with the oil industry in Houston.  She was offered a $25,000/yr. job right after graduation, though being female helped with federal contractual requirements for oil companies.  Possibly being an Asian-American minority was helpful as well.

Later, I left carcinogenic 1980's industrial chemistry for teaching, but I had no teaching certificate.  With the help of high school friends who had gone into teaching and some of my former teachers, I got a full-time teaching job in our countywide school system, soon teaching chemistry in my alma mater high school. Fellow college students in evening classes in the education courses I needed for the teaching certificate were amazed I was teaching full-time and asked me who I knew. I also never had to fulfill the student-teaching requirement for a teaching certificate since I had been teaching for two years when I completed the courses!

Connections - just like Nancy!

So maybe all wealth is the product of labor, connections, gender, and ethnicity.

Then there's one of the first times I went to a racetrack.  I went with a group by bus, dinner included, etc.  I bet the trifecta in one race and had horses 7, 5, and 1.  7 won and there was a photo finish, initially saying 5 second then 1 third, but there was an inquiry to determine 2nd and 3rd.

I said to the friends around me, "I hope it's 7, 5, 1, because I'll win the $954 dollars the board shows!"

A friend said, "No. You'll only get a hundred and some and it won't matter which was 2nd and 3rd."

When I asked why, I got, "Well, you boxed it right?"

I replied, "What's 'boxed'?"

"Oh, my God!  You bet it straight!  You're going to get $954 if it's 7, 5, 1!"

It stayed 7, 5, 1 and I won $954.

So maybe all wealth is the product of labor, connections, gender, ethnicity, stupidity and luck.

Of course, you usually can't take advantages of the opportunities that connections, gender, ethnicity, stupidity and luck present unless you worked hard to have the skills to take advantage of them when they occur, so maybe it all comes back to the product of labor after all!

 

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6 minutes ago, MickinMD said:

When I went to IIT, I was from a poor family and on a scholarship and teaching assistantship to grad school.  I had no connections to good jobs, etc.  I graduated and, in a strong 1975-76 recession, got my first serious chemistry job in 1977 for $16,000/yr (about $68,000 now) which was a good salary for a starting, grad-degreed, research chemist.

An IIT chemistry undergrad named Nancy graduated with a bachelor's degree the same year, 1975.  Her dad had connections with the oil industry in Houston.  She was offered a $25,000/yr. job right after graduation, though being female helped with federal contractual requirements for oil companies.  Possibly being an Asian-American minority was helpful as well.

So maybe all wealth is the product of labor, connections, gender, and ethnicity.

Then there's one of the first times I went to a racetrack.  I went with a group by bus, dinner included, etc.  I bet the trifecta in one race and had horses 7, 5, and 1.  7 won and there was a photo finish, initially saying 5 second then 1 third, but there was an inquiry to determine 2nd and 3rd.

I said to the friends around me, "I hope it's 7, 5, 1, because I'll win the $954 dollars the board shows!"

A friend said, "No. You'll only get a hundred and some and it won't matter which was 2nd and 3rd."

When I asked why, I got, "Well, you boxed it right?"

I replied, "What's 'boxed'?"

"Oh, my God!  You bet it straight!  You're going to get $954 if it's 7, 5, 1!"

It stayed 7, 5, 1 and I won $954.

So maybe all wealth is the product of labor, connections, gender, ethnicity, stupidity and luck.

 

:word:

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And sometimes it's simply inherited by those who have no appreciation of what earned it.

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Wealth doesn't exist outside the life of humans. Somewhere and sometime somebody created something of value, even if ephemeral or intangible. In the betting example, innumerable people are and have been involved in the circumstances that create the opportunity for someone to win.

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